Book Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare


My book review of City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. An enjoyable read for fans of the series, but it lacks the cohesiveness and intensity of earlier installments.

Title: City of Fallen Angels

By: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pages: 425

Release Date: April 15th, 2011

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Rating: ★★★☆☆


Summary from Goodreads:

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.


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City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series, continues the saga of Clary Fray and her adventures in the shadow world. While it has its moments of intrigue and excitement, this installment falls somewhat short compared to its predecessors.

The plot picks up where City of Glass left off, with Clary training to become a Shadowhunter and her relationship with Jace flourishing. However, things take a darker turn as a series of murders targeting Shadowhunters and Downworlders sets off a chain of events that threatens their world once again. The introduction of Simon's perspective adds a fresh dimension, but his storyline feels a bit disconnected at times.

One of the strengths of the book lies in its character development. Simon's struggle with his new identity as a vampire and his complicated love life is compelling, adding depth to his character. However, Jace and Clary's relationship drama feels repetitive, with the same issues resurfacing, making their interactions less impactful.

The pacing of the novel is uneven, with some parts dragging while others rush through critical plot points. The abundance of subplots can be overwhelming, and some resolutions feel too convenient or underdeveloped. Despite these flaws, Clare's world-building remains vivid and immersive, drawing readers back into the richly detailed universe of Shadowhunters and Downworlders.

The dialogue, a mix of witty banter and emotional exchanges, is a highlight, showcasing Clare's knack for capturing the voices of her characters. However, the overarching narrative sometimes gets lost in the melodrama, detracting from the book's overall impact.

In conclusion, City of Fallen Angels is an enjoyable read for fans of the series, but it lacks the cohesiveness and intensity of earlier installments. While it sets the stage for future developments, it doesn't quite deliver the same level of excitement and satisfaction. For these reasons, I give it three stars.

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